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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 18:46 GMT
Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool
William Gallas (left) watches as his shot beats Reds keeper Jose Reina
Gallas (left) watches as his shot beats Reds keeper Reina
Chelsea's superior finishing proved the difference as the Blues beat rivals Liverpool to move 15 points clear at the top of the Premiership.

Defender William Gallas broke the deadlock with a close-range shot 10 minutes before half-time.

Then Hernan Crespo sealed the points with an angled shot from the left midway though the second half.

Any hopes Liverpool had ended when goalkeeper Jose Reina was sent off for shoving Arjen Robben in the face.

The two teams were meeting for the fourth time this season and predictably the familiarity resulted in the usual cagey start.

Liverpool created the first chance, Jamie Carragher failing to time his near-post header from Steven Gerrard's corner.

And the Reds also went close through Sami Hyypia, who headed wide from another corner, and Peter Crouch, who put two headers over the bar.

Chelsea took advantage of Liverpool's waywardness in front of goal on 35 minutes, Gallas swivelling neatly to direct home Ricardo Carvalho's downward header.

Hernan Crespo
Crespo celebrates Chelsea's second after his clinical finish

And Joe Cole had a chance to double the lead only to fire an angled drive into the side-netting after dispossessing Stephen Warnock.

The home side did find the net again before the break but Crespo's strike was ruled out for offside.

At the other end, Gerrard saw a well-struck drive parried by Petr Cech.

But any hopes the Reds had of rescuing a point were all but dashed when Crespo lashed in an angled drive after being played onside by Warnock.

Almost immediately, the Argentine striker was played through on goal again and he beautifully chipped Reina only to be wrongly ruled offside.

Chelsea had grown stronger as the game and were firmly in control when Liverpool's misery was compounded with Reina being sent-off for a push on Robben, who seemed to make more of the incident than appeared necessary.

Chelsea's victory was their 50th in the Premiership under manager Jose Mourinho.

  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho:
    "I thought Liverpool started well but they didn't cause us that much danger.

    "But we defended well against a difficult style of play and, when we scored, the game was always going to open up and we took advantage.

    "The best goal of the match was Crespo's second, that was onside but was disallowed. It is very difficult for linesmen when people like Crespo and Robben are playing."

  • Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez on Reina's dismissal:
    "If that was a red card it was crazy.

    "I know Reina made a mistake by touching Robben's face but when the player went down it looked as though he would spend a week in the hospital.

    "It was crazy that we had to play with 10 men because of that."

    Chelsea: Cech, Gallas, Ricardo Carvalho, Terry, Del Horno, Makelele (Diarra 84), Essien, Lampard, Joe Cole (Duff 74), Robben, Crespo, Duff (Gudjohnsen 79).
    Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Huth.

    Booked: Essien.

    Goals: Gallas 35, Crespo 68.

    Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Warnock, Alonso, Sissoko (Cisse 74), Riise (Luis Garcia 61), Kewell, Gerrard, Crouch, Luis Garcia (Dudek 83).
    Subs Not Used: Morientes, Traore.

    Sent Off: Reina (82).

    Booked: Luis Garcia, Alonso.

    Att: 42,316

    Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

    Interview: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

    Interview: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

    Interview: Hernan Crespo

    Sunday's Premiership photos
    05 Feb 06 |  Photo Galleries


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